Who pays for bethelites Healthcare is it Obama care

by poopie 19 Replies latest jw friends

  • sparky1

    Good catch, betterdaze! In the mid-70's, when I was at Watchtower Farms, the dentist was John Appletauer. (Don't know if the spelling is correct) He and his young wife lived in a private home on Watchtower Farms property. I don't know what the policy is today but back then if you had 'credentials' than you were taken care of.

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    When I was there I was sent to Bedford-Stuyvesant to a very run down clinic to get birth control pills. I needed them for medical reasons not for birth control but they would not give them to the sisters. The roomer was one of the GB was against the pill. I was told that at the farm and Patterson the sister's were given them.

    It was beyond humiliating, as a sister. I had to call personal and ask permission from some old brother who told me that I could go only if I was dropped off and that my husband could not wait for me but had to come right back to Bethel and when I was finished I could call him to pick me up. Now this was before cell phones and it was hard to reach my husband at his job.

    I had no a clue about Bedford-Stuyvesant and what it was like until I got there. It was beyond horrible in fact Billy Joel in one of his songs talks about walking through Bedford-Stuyvesant alone and surviving. It was deferentially not a place for a women to be alone. But my husband did as he was told and dropped me off and went back to work at Bethel waiting for me to call. The clinic unknown to me HATED the JW's which I did not know and canceled my appointment without calling me or if they did the powers to be a Bethel did not tell me. I begged the clinic to let me stay inside until my husband could come to pick me up but NO they hated JW's as I said. The women told me she was sick of them getting free medical care. I was forced to go outside where a group of young guys purposely bumped into me as I was crossing the street to go the a Berger King to wait for my husband. One of them spoke up and said let's mug her. The other one said to leave me alone.

    The inside of the Berger King had bullet proof glass three layers thick. It was one of the most scariest times in my life.

    It was so crazy we just could not afford to buy the pills ourselves which Bethel knew. To allow a sister to go through that is crazy. Some of the other sisters who went their husband refused to just drop them off and told Bethel that they were waiting with their wives no matter what and they could just kick them out if they had a problem with it. Bethel backed down and I went with this couple, who's husband stayed with us. He would take about 4 of us married sister along with his wife. Also the clinic was dirty and I really worried that I might get something but it was the only option I and the other sister'shad.

    Also I lost a tooth while there because I was afraid to go to the dentist and by the time I did it was beyond fixing.


  • Listener

    Lifeistooshort, how did they know you were a JW?

    When it comes to building programs the org. says that safety is the no. one priority, but that's not surprising because accidents potentially cost them a lot of money.

  • life is to short
    life is to short


    It was from my address and if I remember we were supposed to tell them also. And then there was the fact that we had to dress like we were going to a meeting. In that part of Brooklyn dressing up you stuck out like crazy. It was crazy and it really hurt my feelings that my husband would just drop me off. I was so scarred to go there alone, I remember not sleeping for days being worried about it but partly it was my fault also as I went along with it.

    I look back now and just shake my head. I was a born in and believed everything even though it made me so miserable that I thought of suicide a lot while pioneering, I was so depressed it was beyond belief. I found no joy in life at all and I honestly thought that was how it was supposed to be because this was not the real life after all, right? I would have joy in the new world.

    Now I know the reason I was so miserable was because of stupid people, men manly who were over me telling me what to do when to do it and how I was supposed to feel about doing it. It was crazy.

    The reason I lost the tooth was because when we applied to Bethel we had to fill out an application that stated we were in good health and that our teeth were in good shape. Well they were when we went but I got this tooth ache after I was there for six months. My overseer made me feel like I was stealing from Bethel if I went to the dentist, so I just would not go, the tooth ache got so bad that my face started to swell up. By the time I went it was beyond fixing. If I had just went when it first started to hurt it would have been fine, they would have just filled it and that would have been it.

    John Appletauer was the dentist in Brooklyn at the time and he was very nice and kind. He said it was crazy what my overseer had told me and he was upset but he never did anything about it. He did say that it happened way to much and that my overseer was not alone in his way of thinking. He told me that a lot of younger bethellights had teeth problems. Brother Appletauer wanted to try to save the tooth and he put a small brace on it, etc and so I had to go to the dentist a lot in a six month period as Appletauer said I was too young to loose that tooth. My overseer was so pissed and made me walk to the appointment instead of taking the shuttle as I was wasting to much of my work time at Bethel trying to save my tooth. Again there were times it was totally unsafe but I did it. Yet there was another sister on my crew who had a twin sister at Bethel and she was always taking the shuttle for stupid things and my overseer was totally fine with that. In fact this sister would sleep in the closets during the day instead of working and my overseer again was totally fine with it.

    One day my overseer got really mad at me beyond furious at me telling me I was lazy and only there for the free food and health care. That I was HUGE and I should be able to work non stop without breaks, etc. When I brought up the sister sleeping in the closet he said she was petite and just could not work like I could because I was just so HUGE. I am 5.5 and weighed at the time 125. I will never forget how horrible I felt sitting there with him and it was a private communication just my overseer and me, not my husband and no other brother either.

    It just totally left a mark on my soul, I have always felt fat since than and just like I do matter. That petite's sister's husband was featured on one of their latest videos of the construction at Rambo. So she is still there. I on the other hand was one of the ones asked to leave Bethel. I have had three hernia's and am going to the doctor this Friday as I am fairly sure I have another one a fourth one. The last one cost us 13,000 US dollars out of pocket to repair. My doctors have told me the kind of hernia's I have usually men only get and that very few women get and it is from lifting to much. My job at Bethel was to lift 80 to 90 pounds over my head in construction, all those videos where they show the smiling sisters waving to the camera, well they are the petite sisters who can sleep in closets not the ones who truly are doing the work.

    My overseer was beyond pissed when I weighted one of the closet parts to see how much it weighed after he told me I was the most lazy person he knew. My overseer told me that my body was not mine but Bethel's because I had signed the dotted line and I had better do as I as assigned and not ask questions. It was one of the few times I went and tried to stand up for myself by weighing the closet part because I felt that in the future if I had medial problems, like did happen, if I was truly hurting myself I wanted to know why. My overseer told me men and women are of the same strength that women are just as strong as men but only put on that they are not. And I could body build also, he honestly told me that, I am not joking.

    I am just so bitter and right now my body really aches from the fourth hernia which I am kind of freaking out about. I have had 3 surgery's thanks to Bethel and I do not want a 4th.

    The saying no good deed goes unpunished. Or I should say I was so stupid. I look back and just wonder why did I just not walk away. Just leave. I felt so trapped, I had no one to turn to for help and it seemed everyone was backing up my overseer and then the elder's, etc.

    It is just crazy.


  • fulano

    My wife got a very good treatment at Brooklyn from the Nepalese sister doctor, forgot her name. And in MS we never could complain about society paying the bills. That was 1990-2000.

  • Life is to short 2
    Life is to short 2


    I totally get what you mean. I too knew many who got awesome care. It totally depended on what position you had. The brother who was our table foot had back surgery and they sent him to the best doctor's outside Bethel. He got phenomenal care. He got 6 months off work and when he came back, very light duty.

    I also went to a OBGYN when I was there who was the best doctor I have ever been to. He was from Cuba and left his thriving practice in Corpus Christi to work for free at Bethel.

    I am not saying they do not have good doctors at Bethel, but their hands are tied. Like I needed the pill and this brother just could not get it for me.

    Bottom line was who you were and who your family was. I was a no body and throw awayable, and I got treated like that.

    There were other's there that got sent outside to collage for training and got job's that were great.

    In fact one of the couples that came in with us was a real brown noser. He openly admitted that his goal was to have my overseers position. He went beyond what my overseer told me. While my overseer was on vacation this brother just royally ripped into me telling me that my overseer and him had talked and that I was beyond horrible at my job. I was lazy and didn't work fast enough, and that there was no reason why I was not putting out more work. He told me I had to work by myself on floors alone. And I was not the only sister treated that way, nor person even. I had a temp brother come up to me near tears asking if my overseer was really a JW.

    The brother who ripped into me had mentioned before all of this he was so thankful that his wife was on computers because he didn't want her to have to do such physical work. And Jehovah was blessing them because she would have a great skill if they left Bethel.

    So yes there are phenomenal doctor's and some get extremely good care. But not all of us.

  • Life is to short 2
    Life is to short 2

    Just one more point my overseer paired a sister who was my size and who he had deemed as HUGE also with sister petite, while when she was not in the closets sleeping she spent hour's on the phone with her twin sister and I had worked with her myself if work was not done it was my fault not her's.

    Well this sister who was paired with her tried to lift by herself and a whole pallet of glass fell on her. It crushed her leggs and burished her and she was off work for a couple of days but all in all she was OK. The reason it happened was sister petite was on the phone with her twin for such a long time sister HUGE like me knew she would get yelled at and did the job by herself.

    All my overseer said was thank goodness none of the glass broke.

    John 13:35 is all I can think of right now.

  • sparky1

    This thread is very informative. It seems that 'medical care' at Bethel didn't actually follow any type of 'standard of care' where each Bethelite was treated equally and fairly. I personally had excellent dental care from John Appletauer and even had minor oral surgery. Also, I had an eye exam and got my first pair of glasses from a brother from Ohio who was an optometrist and came to Watchtower Farms once a year to provide his services. Yet Dr. Roylance would not even help me investigate my digestive issues. Not one OUNCE of doctorly care or compassion from him at all. I believe those here that are posting that they got atrocious care and I also believe those who got better care. Birth control pills were available to the single sisters at Watchtower Farms for 'hormonal issues' (as was pointed out by life is too short) as one of my close friends that was a single sister was on them. I recall a young man at the Farm that died because Frank Lewis (that bastard) who was the Home Servant at the time, 'diagnosed' the young man as having the flu. He had pneumonia and died in his sleep. One of my roommates had poison ivy that nearly killed him and he went to Frank Lewis for help. Frank gave him calamine lotion from the infirmary and told him not to worry about it. His father was an Elder in California and a Pharmacist. After the father chewed Frank Lewis a new asshole, my roommate was sent to Brooklyn for medical care. In my observation, at least in the mid 70's, medical care was hit or miss and depended on who you were, who you were related to, how you were viewed and what position you held. Each of us Bethelites has our own experience in the matter and our own stories to tell. Both sides should be received with respect and understanding. (If there is a HELL, I hope Frank Lewis is roasting there eternally.......he was an ignorant son of a bitch)

  • life is to short
    life is to short

    sparky you are totally right, A huge amount had to due with who you were. Like the brother who had back surgery. He came from a very prominent family and they seemed to have a lot of money, his family did. Him and his wife were used in a lot of pictures on the WT and Awake. He could be such a jerk at time. One time at breakfast I asked for seconds of yogurt, he made this HUGE scene about it asking me if I really needed seconds. His wife most of the time would not even acknowledge that I was at the table and if I tried to speak to her it felt like I was worm and she would look at me with disdain and sigh like I was so much brother to even speak to.

    There was just so much crazy stuff at Bethel. So many really had money backing them. One time I was in the hopper at the 50 building and this very well dressed sister who wore designer clothes looked over at me getting used clothes and said to the brother walking besides her loudly so I would hear her that she would NEVER stoop to wear someone old stuff.

    We pioneered living in a 1955 trailer that was a huge fire hazard, we put 30,000 miles a year on the car and I felt lucky to be able to go to the goodwill.

    There was deferentially class distinctions at Bethel. The more money your family had the better you were treated pure and simple.


  • betterdaze

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